IMPHAL, November 19: There is no shortage of fuel supplies in the State and the public should avoid panic buying, Minister Oken in charge of Public Distribution System and Food and Civil Supplies told IFP today.
In regard to the indefinite total bandh imposed by the Kuki State Demand Committee which has been imposed since Saturday evening, the public has been jostling to fill up their vehicles at oil pumps to avoid buying fuel from the black market.
Today, there were almost nil distribution of petrol and diesel at the petrol pumps located around Imphal city.
PC/TC and Jas Petrol Pump distributed fuel today but the majority of the pumps remained shut down.
A petrol pump owner at Chingmeirong mentioned that there are fuel reserves at the Indian Oil Corporation Depot at Chingmeirong.
However, the fuel has been loaded in hardly 10/11 tankers and main supply distribution for the rest of the petrol pumps is yet to begin , he said in the afternoon.
However, late news confirmed that fuel has been rationed to some pumps in the evening. Minister Oken however reaffirmed that there is enough fuel stock in the depot to last 17 days.
A supply convoy for bringing fuel from Assam will also leave the State tomorrow under security escort, he said.
The minister appealed to the public to avoid panic buying and have trust in the State government administration. He added that the scarcity in the State will be man- made and not by the problems in supplying the oil to the State.
It may be mentioned that Kusum Oil pump at Nongmeibung and PC/TC , Khuyathong has been deemed for 24 hour public supply by the initiative of the minister since July last. The pumps are still catering to the public since then and also distributed fuel today.
Meanwhile, the bandh by the Kuki State Demand Committee has also witnessed closing down of schools and other Government departments at Kangpokpi area. he said. The agitating bodies have an appointment with the representatives of the State tomorrow at 3.30 pm to bring a solution to the standoff.